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West Nile leaves parents of young children worried

Daycare facilities not authorized to spray kids

SAN ANTONIO - The West Nile outbreak has put many on edge, including parents. While studies show that disease tends to affect those over 50 years of age, young kids are also at risk.

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It is for that reason that San Antonio mother Brittney Smith became concerned when her son came home from daycare complaining of mosquito bites.

"He came home and he said, 'Mommy, I’m itching and I’m itching really bad,'" said Smith.

Smith’s son, Brent, had spent some of his day at daycare outside, leaving him susceptible to mosquitoes and, potentially, the West Nile Virus.

"He had two on each leg and one on each arm and when he gets mosquito bites, he whelps up," explained Smith.

That left her worried, especially after reports of deaths across Texas, including one in Bexar County.

"It was bothering me to the point to where I couldn’t sleep,” said Smith.

So after researching the disease, she called her son’s daycare.

"I wanted to make sure that I, his father, and his school were on the same page.”

That conversation led to an easy solution.

Smith would start sending her son to daycare armed with mosquito repellent and consent to spray him with the repellant each time he went outside.

According to Child Protective Services, the governing body over childcare facilities, daycares are not allowed to apply repellant to any child, unless it is provided by the parent and consent is given.

"Maybe it could be communications from the school administration to the parents before the kids get there; this is an option to you and we encourage it,” said Smith.

Smith hoped that other parents would become aware of the policy as well, so all children were protected, especially during the time children were away from there parents.

For a list of recent stories Justin Horne has done, click here.


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